web analytics
Sign up with your email address to be the first to know about new products, VIP offers, blog features & more.

Nikon D3200 Manual Mode – Photography Tips

Learn Photography

Nikon D3200 Tutorial – Photography Tips

M: Manual Mode


Once upon a time, a long time before digital cameras and program modes, there was clearly Manual mode. In those days it wasn’t called “manual mode,” because there were hardly any other modes-it was just photography. In fact, many photographers cut their teeth on completely manual cameras. Let’s face it-if you wish to learn the outcomes of aperture and shutter speed on your photography, there is no better method to learn compared to setting those adjustments yourself. However, today, with the advancement of camera technology, many new photographers never give this mode a second thought. That’s really a shame, as it’s not only an excellent method to learn your photography basics, but it’s also a necessary tool to get in your photographic bag of tricks.

When you’ve your camera set to Manual (M) mode, your camera meter gives you a reading of the scene you are photographing. It’s your task, though, to set both the f-stop (aperture) and the shutter speed to achieve a correct exposure. If you need a faster shutter speed, you’ll have to make the reciprocal plunge to your f-stop. Using every other mode, including Shutter Priority or Aperture Priority, indicates you just have to worry about one of these changes, but Manual mode means you’ve to do it all yourself. This can be a little challenging at first, but after a few years you will have a complete knowledge of how each change affects your exposure, that will, therefore, enhance the way that you apply the other modes.

When to work with Manual (M) mode

When learning how each exposure element interacts with the others


Since my main subject was in the light, I set the camera to Manual so I could underexpose and keep the sky darker and more blue without worrying about the areas that fell into shadow.

When your environment is fooling your light meter and you need to maintain a certain exposure setting

Beaches and snow are always a challenge for light meters. Add to that the desire to have exact control of depth of field and shutter speed, and you have a perfect scenario for Manual mode.

When shooting silhouetted subjects, which requires overriding the camera’s meter readings

While awaiting the sun to go up, I considered a fellow photographer and used Manual mode to push the foreground elements into complete silhouette. 

Setting up and shooting in Manual mode

  • Turn the digital camera on, and after that turn the Mode dial to align the M with all the indicator line.
  • Select your ISO by pressing the i button for the lower-left portion in the back from the camera (if your camera’s info screen is just not visible, press the Info button or i button).
  • Press up or down around the Multi-selector to focus on the ISO option, then select OK.
  • Press down for the Multi-selector to choose the desired ISO setting, then press OK to secure the change.
  • Point your camera at your subject, then activate your camera meter by depressing the shutter button halfway.
  • View the exposure information in the bottom area with the viewfinder or by exploring the display panel on the rear in the camera.
While the meter is activated, use your thumb to roll the Command dial all over the place to change your shutter speed value before exposure mark is lined up using the zero mark. The exposure details are displayed by way of a scale with marks that run from -2 to +2 stops. A “proper” exposure will line up with all the arrow mark in the middle. As the indicator moves to the correct, it is a sign you will be underexposing (there is not enough light for the sensor to offer adequate exposure). Move the indicator left and you will be providing more exposure than the digital camera meter calls for; that is overexposure.

To set your exposure with all the aperture, depress the shutter release button before the meter is activated. Then, while holding on the Exposure Compensation/Aperture button (located behind and to the right in the shutter release button), rotate the Command dial to change the aperture. Rotate befitting for a smaller aperture (large f-stop number) and left for a larger aperture (small f-stop number).

Remember any time you are using Manual mode, it is up to you to determine what is the most critical thing to bother with. Do you need a fast shutter? Do you want narrow depth of field? You decide after which you win control. It’s really one in the best ways to learn how each change affects your image.

Visit our Online Photography School Again for better understanding of photography. You will again fall in love with what you love doing.

Let us know what do you think about the article in comments section below. If you like the article then make a effort to share. Thanks

What Do You Wanna Read Next:

1. Program mode
2. Shutter Priority mode 
3. Aperture Priority mode 
4. Manual mode 
5. Examination

2 Responses
  • lainaa - edullinen laina
    January 20, 2014

    I blog often and I truly thank you for your
    information. This great article has truly peaked my interest.
    I’m going to take a note of your website and keep checking for new information about once per week.

    I subscribed to your RSS feed too.

  • Bourbon Cobbler
    May 26, 2017

    Do you have any video of that? I’d want to find out more details.

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Join our mailing list to receive the latest TIPS and OFFERS from our team.

We got you covered..!